But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” —Revelation 5:5, NKJV
Unlike the month of March, which notoriously “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb,” Jesus came first as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, NKJV). When He returns, it will be as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah.” The Lamb of God came some 2,000 years ago to pay the necessary price for mankind’s sin and rebellion and to open the door for reconciliation with God. And aren’t we glad He did? If He never did another thing for us, never answered another prayer or gave us even one undeserved blessing, that should be enough reason for us to praise Him forever.
But when He returns, it will no longer be as a Lamb, offering mercy and covering for sin. Rather, it will be as a Lion, coming to judge those who have rejected Him.
Have you noticed how much the world and even we as the Church like to focus on the mercy part? We love the Lamb of God image, but tend to shy away from the Lion-Judge. And yet the Scriptures are clear that the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah are one and the same. The Bible is also clear that just as sacrifice came to extend mercy, so too will judgment come to those who reject that mercy. Shouldn’t both those facts be our motivation for serving God and telling others about Him — while there’s still time? And yet, if we’re not careful, we fall into the trap of “not wanting to be judgmental.” We use Matthew 7:1 as our favorite (and sometimes only) verse: “Judge not, that you be not judged.” And of course, if we are judging others by our own personal standards, we are indeed judging them and that is wrong. But if we are proclaiming God’s standard of judgment — with the loving motive of seeing people restored to relationship with Him — that is not wrong at all. It is exactly what we who have received the Lamb of God as our Savior are called to do.
During this season of Lent, may we remember that the very Lamb of God who was crucified, died, buried and rose again is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who will come to judge the world and all who have rejected Him.
The Lion and the Lamb — the most powerful combination of power and peace imaginable. May we not take that great truth for granted.
***My two newest releases, The Singing Quilt and The 40-Day Devotional Challenge, are now available at the following online venues:
***Kathi Macias, PO Box 772, Homeland, CA 92548